Monthly Archives: December 2007

Year End Stuff ~ 2007 & Looking Ahead

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I was trying to think of some highs and low of this past year:

Lows: Broken foot, death of my dear friend Barb, failing (sinning) time and time again on the same things ūüė¶ ,

Highs: Hubby’s new job, my son.

 

Not too interesting to you all, but for me a big one: my cravings for alcohol are diminishing, I’m remembering what I felt like after I drank and that feeling is taking¬†priority over the temporary high feeling while drinking.

Working out/eating right¬†and just generally feeling better. God’s saving grace in my life, even tho I do fail over and over again. The bible study we had at my house this summer.

My life is pretty boring, people……..

As for new year’s resolutions, I stopped doing them when my christian journey started. Don’t know why, but maybe I can write some down so I can look back and see if I accomplished them.

1. Go to school, I’m looking at medical office (my son is thinking about becoming a chiropractor and having a bit of office training, I could help him in his business, I had to promise him I would hire cute receptionists for him ūüėČ

(I’m also looking into cosmetology, computer¬†and veterinarian tech stuff)

2. Be better at attending bible study, fellowship gatherings at church and being more of a people person, I’ve been playing the hermit this latter part of the year and that’s not good.

3. Slowly my thoughts on Christianity have been changing, minutely. Probably become of all the heathen blogs I read. But they make me think. They often bring more questions than answers.  Often times I think; is this of the Devil? Or of my own selfish thinking? Or is this what Jesus really would have thought/done/wanted?

Even things about the bible. I love  studying the bible, I love looking up the words, I want to know what the book says about God and Jesus. When I began I wanted to know everything I could so I could be ready to defend myself, my stance on this path I chose to take (or did I?)

Do I worship the bible? Do I worship the church? It seems like I’m good at studying and knowing the word, and good at being the lovely little deacons wife/helper/secretary (well, not that good, but if you asked people at church, they would probably say ”Yeah, Kristina’s life is pretty good, no worries there”) Side note; this post and comments are awesome.

Am I good at worshipping God? At being an example of Jesus and wanting to strive towards Him being of utter thankfulness at His saving me?

Nope. And it sickens me.

So number 3 would be to keep on striving to love Him and walk the path He has chosen for me, to worship Him and His Father, not things of this earth.

4. Balance. To have balance. to know. to know what  is right and wrong. to love. Everyone.

Ok, I’m done. Gotta go work out and attend the New Years Eve Bunco Bash at the church. Have fun tonight and please be safe!

Kristina

For Unto Us a Child is Born

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When I resort to an escape response [in dealing with conflict], I am generally focusing on “me.” I am looking for what is easy, convenient, or non-threatening for myself. When I use an attack response, I am generally focusing on “you,” blaming you and expecting you to give in and solve the problem. When I use a peacemaking response, my focus is on “us.” I am aware of everyone’s interests in the dispute, especially God’s, and I am working toward mutual responsibility in solving a problem.

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 46-47

Food for Thought

The great pronouncement of the prophet Isaiah concerning the Messiah–” For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” (Is. 9:6a, emphasis ours)–takes on special meaning this time of year as we reflect on Ken’s words, above.By definition, Christmas can never be fully celebrated by “me” as a “personal family time with loved ones.” If we celebrate in this way, we duck the piercing challenge of Christmas. We embrace the left side of the Slippery Slope and seek only that which is “easy, convenient, and non-threatening”.But Christmas is very threatening indeed. It is good news, but it is the kind of good news that cuts through “easy, convenient, and non-threatening” like a sword. Christmas is a stubbornly “us” celebration.

Just as Jesus redefined “neighbor” in the parable of the Good Samaritan, Christmas redefines “us” and insists that that definition–and the celebration of Christmas–must include those we’d rather not see around the tree on Christmas morning. In Jesus’ Christmas celebration, our enemies are there–those who slander us and curse us and steal from us. Total strangers are there, for whom we now can and must care because God has cared for us. And even those who simply hurt our feelings unknowingly are there–those against whom we may presently be harboring tiny seeds of bitterness in our heart.

How and where will you celebrate Christmas this year? Will it be an “easy, convenient, and non-threatening” celebration spent entirely with loved ones? (One can almost hear Jesus’ question in Matthew 5:47, “Do not even pagans do that?”)

Or will your Christmas celebration take you to visit a home you’d rather not visit? Will it cause you to pick up the phone and dial a number you’ve long since quit dialing? Will it draw you outward to bring good news to a modern-day “shepherd” watching flocks by night (a convenience store clerk on Christmas eve, perhaps; or on-duty police officer or fire fighter)? Will it cause you to proclaim “good tidings of great joy for all the people”–to a stranger that you might otherwise pass without a word?

If so, then you will be swept up into the great prophecy recorded in Isaiah 9:7: “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end” (emphasis ours).

Well, if this isn’t convicting, I don’t know what is?

Christmas is put away and now life can go back to ‘normal’. Heh, what is normal? And is that even a good thing?

Did we do anything that showed¬†God’s¬†love and light this season? Or did we just make it thru?

I’m ashamed to say, my focus is just to make it thru. I’m a miserable wretch of a sinner.

I hope your Christmas season was much more profitable than ours was, here’s to praying and asking the Lord to help us be His light and love and life to others this coming year.

Kristina

 

Can I Get Some Help Here For Cassie?

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I received this comment the other day:

Kristina,

I was born again to Christ about two years ago. I am a former Roman Catholic. By the grace of the LORD was I saved. I just finished your article on Christmass. The pagan holiday. I am having such a hard time and hope you can help. I have four children .One did not buy gifts BUT loves her Christmas music. One does not celebrate but is gay and is coming to Christ. The other two celebrate. I have a HARD time being near them. I am getting so depressed if you will. What can I do?? I have given them articles. I have read from the WORD. They say yeah so. I am tired. I realized after reading your letter that I NEED TO GET RID OF THE TWO PRIMITIVE TREES IN MY HOME. I love to look at the lights on them,  I have them up all year long. I can now see that they are pagan no matter what. Am I right??? I thank you for reading this and look forward to your HELP. In Christ, Cassie

I wanted to answer her scripturally and accurately and I also didn’t want to leave her hanging over the holiday, so here was my answer:

Cassie,
thank you for commenting, I want to let you know that I need to think about this a bit, but didn’t want to leave you hanging, but I will say this off the top of my head:
Christmas is not about Christ, not in the earthly sense.
Christians can make the focus Christ but the world has made it something totally different.
As you see from the articles, Christmas never was a Christian holiday. The Christians stuck some stuff in there and incorporated it into their worship services. To fit in, as it were.
My own personal opinion you need to read the Word and decide in your own heart and mind what you want to do for this holiday season. Then once you decide, stick to it. No matter what. Be kind and gracious to others who don’t think like you do, but remember, lights, trees and presents aren’t to be the focus. You, as an living example of what God had done in your life, should be the focus.
Please let me think about this more for a few days and I promise I will get back to you. I know its hard, I struggle with all the demands, commercialization and expectations the world puts upon me and that I put upon myself.
I will be praying for peace and wisdom for you about this, Kristina
I’m also thinking of putting your comment up on the blog for others to answer at a later date, I won’t put your name, and I won’t if you don’t want me to.

She was gracious¬†enough¬†to¬†email¬†back. But she had another question for me, which I post here for you to answer as well, what do you do for the¬†Lord’s¬†day?

Hello Kristina,     

¬†¬†¬†¬† Well, the “primitive trees” were taken down right after I read your article. If I had to think about it and it was consuming any thought that was NOT of Christ then it must have been Satan. Jesus is not about confusion. I thank you for helping me. I look forward to your answer and understand you need time. I know witnessing comes from the Holy Spirit it is not something we sometimes can get right away. Please, post my question. Anything that helps spread the WORD of Christ our Savior. ¬†I will continue to be in the Holy WORD. I do not attend any church. I would like help also if you could on the Lord’s day. Do you celebrate this? If so how and when?¬†

 In Christ,Cassie
For us, The Lord’s day is spent at church, in the morning. With my husband being a deacon, and my son helping¬†with the sound, there is always things that need to be done at the service. I try to make Sunday a day of rest and family time. We sometimes have people over for lunch (and we need to do that more often) We read the paper, eat a quiet lunch, do bible study. I try to get the boys to not watch TV, but I lost that fight awhile ago and decided¬†that’s¬†not a huge battle I want to fight. Got plenty of other stuff to battle. When there is sunday evening worship, we attend, but right now¬†there is another body of Christ (Russian church) meeting in our church and they have a service¬† in the evening.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Kristina

 

Dear Father, encourager,

Encourage our hearts and knit them together in love with the heart of Jesus and the hearts of every other child of yours!

Give us all the riches of knowing and understanding of what you had formerly kept secret, the Good News about Jesus Christ, for in him you have hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Give us firm assurance in him.

Whatever new dimension or unfolding of your grace that shall come, it will be, I am convinced, a disclosure of the good things originally hidden in Christ. Help us to know it when we see it.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Merry Christmas

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1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him‚ÄĒ
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD –

3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;

4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling  together;
and a little child will lead them.

7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.

9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11

Kristina

Advent Family Devotions: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

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Christmas Eve 

 Our Response 

Put a large red candle in the center of the wreath and light it with the other four. Through the weeks the light of your wreath has grown brighter, and with the celebration of Christ’s birth the message becomes clearer: the Light of the World has overcome the darkness!! The Scripture readings for today focus on what our response should be.¬†

John 8:12: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 9:4-5: As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 

2 Corinthians 4:3-6: And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

 Matthew 5:14-16: You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. 

1 John 1:5-7: This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 

Carol: “Thou Dost Reign On High” No. 241 (Blue Trinity No. 170)¬†¬†¬†

Christmas Day

¬†Again, light all five candles. Read the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20. Have family members share what they have learned during your Advent devotions. Sing your favorite Christmas carols in joyous celebration because, in Isaiah’s words: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.”¬† (Isaiah 9:2)

Star of Bethlehem

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This really intrigues me~

What IF, Jesus was born on or around April 17, 6 BC?

How would that change the way we look at holidays?

Christmas?

Celebrating Jesus birthday? and resurrection?

Who gets to decide if what the ‘star’ experts are saying is truth?

Are there groups of Christians out there that beleive this? Where are they?

I watched part of this show the other night, its really good.

Decided to google it.

Here is some stuff I came up with:

 

1. This page was copied from Nick Strobel’s Astronomy Notes.

Go to his site at www.astronomynotes.com for the updated and corrected version.

2.THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM: AN ASTRONOMICAL AND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

By Susan S. Carroll

The Star of Bethlehem is one of the most powerful, and enigmatic, symbols of Christianity. Second perhaps only to the Cross of the Crucifixion, the importance of its role in the story of the Nativity of the Christ child is almost on a par with the birth itself. However, the true origin of the Star of Bethlehem has baffled astronomers, historians, and theologians for the past two millennia.

For the purposes of this discussion we shall consider four possibilities:

That the star was a ‚Äúone-shot‚ÄĚ occurrence – never before seen and has not been seen since; it was placed in the sky by God to announce the birth of His Son;

That the Star was added to the story of the Nativity after the fact;

That the Star was a real, documentable astronomical object;

That the entire New Testament was falsified.

If you subscribe to the first theory, then we, as astronomers, have nothing to talk about. It was a supernatural miracle that defies scientific explanation. However, many theologians insist on putting some sort of divine interpretation on the Star as part of the story of the Nativity. By admitting that the Star was a natural phenomenon, with an actual scientific explanation, is tantamount to totally removing its heavy symbolic significance. After all, how could something so miraculous have such a mundane explanation? From Here

3. From Christian Answers

4. From Space.com

5. From http://www.bethlehemstar.net/

Anyway, it is an interesting subject. Would love to hear your comments!

Kristina